Live Streaming

Closed captions refer to the visual display of the audio in a program, such as a TV broadcast.
The standards widely used for online video are:
– CEA-608, also known as Line 21
– CEA-708, the latest standard for digital television.

Live captioning with 608 and 708 is possible with Dacast’s latest default player.
Note that broadcasters need to have their own infrastructure to insert closed captions to their live streams.

Category: Live Streaming

If you want to make your video inaccessible, you must turn off the VOD or live stream.

In order to turn off Dacast live streaming or any VOD, you must navigate to the content and click “Description.” From there, you can toggle the VOD file, live stream, package or playlist to “Off” like so:

Doing so will not only make the video inaccessible but if the content was monetized, it will disable the paywall preventing future people from buying the content.

To make it clear, in the case of live channels, the stream will not automatically turn back on again once you start to stream through the encoder. You will have to go back into “Description” and manually toggle it “On” again before this will happen. 

If you stream often and offer a free stream, we recommend just leaving the channel on to make it easy to begin streaming again during your event or programming.

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Category: Live Streaming

Dacast’s new platform makes low latency streaming standards at every plan level. This means to get low latency streaming set up, you simply need to select “standard” (HTML5) or “compatible” (direct M3U8 format if this is available with your plan) as your stream type. You also cannot turn on the 30 Minute Rewind option.

Both of these choices will give you access to a channel with about 12 to 15-second latency, which is considered low latency by industry standards. The actual latency you experience might be longer if your internet upload speed is slow or your encoder is using too much of your computer’s resources.

Dacast Low Latency - Create live stream

Please note that enabling the 30 Minute Rewind setting will increase the latency to roughly 40 seconds.

For any questions regarding low latency streaming with Dacast, please visit our support website. You can find detailed tutorials on all Dacast features, email support, and 24/7 chat support.

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Category: Live Streaming

Yes, Dacast supports almost all encoders which can output in RTMP or HLS.
This includes, but is not limited to, hardware devices such as:

TriCaster from NewTek
TouchStream from Digital Rapids
Cube from Teradek

This also includes software solutions as well, such as:

OBS Studio
Wirecast from Telestream
Discover Video
VidBlaster from CombiTech

Category: Live Streaming

Our direct low latency streaming solution works with any HLS streaming protocol compatible encoder.

The advantage of using our own HLS compatible software encoder based on OBS Studio is the cost (free for everyone) and the super-fast set-up with preset encoding settings.  However, you are more than welcome to use your own HLS encoder if you do have one.

Below is an example of the settings we used with a Haivision HLS compatible encoder to stream on a Dacast low latency channel:

Note: For a minimal latency you might want to use :
segment duration: 2000 ms
segment count: 3

If you have tips and suggestions, please contact us or post it in the community section.

Category: Live Streaming

If you haven’t signed up for a Dacast account and are seeing this on your credit card statement, chances are you bought access to a stream/video recently from one of our live streaming customers or partners.

So either you did a Pay-Per-View for an event or signed up for a subscription. Try to line up when you purchased and if you watched anything that day for which required payment.

More on Pay-Per-View Streaming and Video Monetization

Dacast’s secure paywall has made it easy for users to monetize their video content with both pay-per-view and subscription methods. 

In addition to these two video monetization models, Dacast also offers ad-based monetization which works very similarly to YouTube’s monetization structure.

The beauty Dacast is that you have the power to control how you monetize your content down to the smallest of characteristics on your paywall. With the help of player API, you can tweak and customize your secure paywall to best serve your audience.

In addition to the endless possibilities with API, the new paywall also comes equipped with some built-in features that include settings geared towards accommodations for global viewers.

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Category: Live Streaming

Yes, Dacast uses a worldwide content delivery network in order to send streams to viewers. This includes both live and on-demand services.

This is due to the CDN connection that Dacast utilizes (Limelight Networks), which has a server presence all over the world.

Background:

Limelight Networks’ interconnection policy seeks to enhance its global connectivity to other networks. Interconnection with any partner network should be mutually beneficial and meet certain technical criteria. Limelight Networks practices a ‘selective’ peering policy. Due to their peering program, Limelight Networks, Inc. operates AS 22822 as its global backbone network but also has other ASNs in specific regions and markets. Limelight’s Interconnect markets and respective ASNs include Canada.

According to CDN Intelligence Reports, the global mobile Content Delivery Network (CDN) market is predicted to reach US$70.3 billion by 2025. This is indicative of the continued growth of online video content, increasing the use of Internet services, and the rise of mobile web access.

Best Practices: 

Always go to www.testmy.net and click on the “Upload Speed Test” tab before starting to live stream to check out the available bandwidth you have for streaming. You should set your streaming bit rate to 75% or less of the reported Upload Speed and everything should be fine.

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Category: Live Streaming

There is no limit of live channels in your Dacast account.

However, by default, you cannot create more than 20 live channels in your Dacast account without contacting us.

If you need more than 20 live channels in your account, please contact us and we will make it happen.

How can you contact us?
– via our 24/7 live chat (directly in your Dacast account)
– via email (support@dacast.com)
– via phone (+1 855 896 9300)

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Category: Live Streaming

Please note that we have been using Akamai DEEM (dynamic encoder to entry-point mapping) approach for the selection of the publishing point for several months.


This new approach provides improved throughput and automatically optimizes entry-points based on current Internet conditions. Therefore, there is no more the possibility to select a publishing point in the new back office because Akamai automatically optimizes it for you to ensure a high quality ingest.

There are two things you can do when your video bandwidth is exceeded on Dacast

The first option is to set up “Playback Protection,” which is essentially overage protection. In this scenario, you put a credit card on file that is authorized to refill your bank of bandwidth if you go over your monthly bandwidth or Event Plan bandwidth.

You can check out our Playback Protection walkthrough for more details.

An alternative option is just letting the bandwidth run out. This will cause your streams to shut off when you burn through the bandwidth on your account, but you will not suffer any additional consequences.

Please note that there is a two hour delay on analytic reporting, so it might take a moment for the system to detect that you are out of bandwidth. 

Your stream will not shut off until the detection is made. This means in some scenarios you might find yourself in the negative if you continue streaming within a two hour window.

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Category: Live Streaming

In the professional broadcasting world, CDN is short for “content delivery network.” 

A CDN is a network of servers that deliver a web page or web content, such as video, to a user. The CDN copies the web content to a network of servers that are dispersed to different locations around a geographic region.

When a user accesses content that is part of a CDN, the CDN will redirect the request from the originating site’s server to a server in the CDN that is closest to the user and deliver the cached content. 

The closer the CDN server is to the user geographically, the faster the content will be delivered.

Using a CDN is ideal for streaming video, especially to a geographically diverse group of viewers.

Dacast uses top-tier CDNs including Limelight and Akamai, which have some of the largest networks of servers in the world. The global nature of these servers ensure scaleable and high quality live streaming.

Benefits of Using a CDN

What is a CDN? | How Do CDNs Work?
A content delivery network (CDN)/content distribution network is a network of servers and data centers.

As a broadcaster, providing your viewers with high-quality video content is absolutely essential. You want to create an enjoyable viewing experience to keep your viewers coming back. 

Using a global CDN provides several benefits that relate to bringing that high-quality experience to viewers in broader geographic regions.

Some improvements that CDNs offer include faster loading times, lower bandwidth costs, higher content availability, and enhanced security.

Speedier loading times reduce latency. Since viewers tend to have little patience for lagging and buffering, this is a major plus.

CDN vs. Video Hosting

Dacast Video Hosting - Knowledge Base Tutorials

Since they work so closely together, CDNs are sometimes confused with video hosts. When it comes to professional broadcasting, this is not an either/or situation.

A video host (ex: Dacast) is where your video lives. A CDN is simply the tool that brings it to your viewers. 

Think of your nervous system. Everything is operated by your brain, but chains of nerves send signals all over your body to give it the information it needs to function. 

A video hosting platform is a brain. It sends videos (or signals) to people to viewers via content delivery networks (the nerves). Both parts work together to bring viewers the content that has been requested.

Your online video host and CDN will work together to produce a high-quality broadcast.

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An encoder is software or hardware that converts video files from one format or code to another. Encoding is an essential part to live streaming.

Here is a quick rundown of how encoding fits into the live streaming process:

  1. A camera captions video files in the RAW format.
  2. RAW files are transmitted to the encoder.
  3. The encoder converts the RAW files into streamable .mp4 files.
  4. The .mp4 files are transmitted from the encoder to your streaming platform.
  5. Your streaming platform uses HLS (or another protocol) to transmit the .mp4 files to the viewers’ devices.

The encoding process happens in a matter of moments when it comes to live streaming to keep your latency low. 

With Dacast, you can use any encoder that outputs into RTMP or HLS. 

If you have never used an encoder before or are unfamiliar with what this is, we recommend starting with our customized version of our OBS Studio. This software is free and will allow you to start streaming in a few clicks.

Required Encoder Settings on Dacast

The following encoder settings are required for live streaming with Dacast, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

VIDEO CODEC H.264 (x264 may work)
FRAME RATE 25 or 30
KEYFRAME INTERVAL 2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
SCANNING Progressive
ENCODING BITRATE Constant (CBR)
AUDIO CODEC AAC
AUDIO BITRATE 128 kbps
AUDIO CHANNELS 2 (Stereo)
AUDIO SAMPLE RATE 48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

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Category: Live Streaming

The HTTP website referrer option on Dacast lets you add website referral restrictions to your content. 

For example, if you own the website www.test.com, you can set up a restriction to block sites that aren’t www.test.com from trying to grab and reuse your embed code.

H2> How a Website Referrer Relates to Dacast

Under the “Security” tab, there is a section called “Domain Control.”

You can click the padlock icon to edit these settings for a live stream, video, or playlist. 

To manage and apply global settings across your account by going to “Settings” on the left sidebar and click “Security.” Scroll to “Domain Control” to add or edit your referrers.

Here is a video that explains how to set up this feature.

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Category: Live Streaming

Bandwidth is a rate of data transfer, generally a metric of how much data can be sent in a given time period that is mandated by the stress and traffic caused on a server.

For Dacast, this refers to the amount of traffic caused by streaming (higher audience and higher bitrate translate into more bandwidth being consumed).

How Does Bandwidth Relate to Live and On Demand Video Streaming?

This is a very broad question as video streaming depends on your specific needs. More specifically, the price of your Dacast package will largely depend on the bandwidth needed for your project.

The bandwidth depends on how many viewers you are expecting, how long would they be watching, and the quality of your stream (low definition, medium definition, or high definition).

You can use the Dacast bandwidth calculator for an estimate of how much bandwidth you will need.

However, before committing to a plan we strongly recommend speaking with one of our knowledgeable sales representatives to give you the most accurate estimate. Contact us at 855-896-9300.

Any questions or need help with our pricing plans or bandwidth calculator? Please contact us.

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If you are unfamiliar with bandwidth and streaming, please use the calculator of our pricing page.

Category: Live Streaming

Progressive Download is a technique wherein video, or audio content can be watched while downloading to a computer or device. This process differs from streaming in that the file is saved to your computer during the process, although sometimes without the user knowing it and sometimes only temporarily.

Dacast uses a strictly streaming approach that does not support progressive download. This is due to the large volume of content behind paywalls for which a progressive download approach would be prohibited and allow people to take paid content and redistribute it to others easily.

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Category: Live Streaming

There is no viewer limit for videos on regular Dacast accounts. We have facilitated broadcasts with hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers.

Dacast uses a global Content Delivery Network (CDN) that allows users to stream to vast audiences without the concern of hitting a “limit” that would overwork a smaller server network.

This top tier CDN is available on all plans. If you plan on streaming to large numbers of viewers, please make sure you purchase the appropriate amount of bandwidth.

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Category: Live Streaming

The terms frame rate and FPS are often used interchangeably. FPS stands for “frames per second” and refers to the number of video frames that display each second in video. 

Essentially, FPS is the unit of measurement for frame rate.

You can control how many frames per second a video has when broadcasting over Dacast in your encoder settings. 

The human eye is well equipped to see over 100 FPS, although the defacto standard is often around 60 FPS. As a rule of thumb, you can get away with lower FPS (which would also lower the amount of bandwidth you are using) if you are streaming low motion content. 

If there is really fast motion in your video, you should use a higher FPS to make the motion appear more fluid. 

For more information on frame rate settings you should use with Dacast, please take a look at our live streaming encoder configuration guide.  

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Category: Live Streaming

VP9 is a proprietary codec that was developed by On2Technologies in May 2003. It is also called the TrueMotion video codec. VP9 is a “lossy” video compression format and is often used by JavaFX, Adobe Flash and Flash Video Files.

Dacast does NOT recommend using VP9.

If you plan to do All Device (HTML5) live streaming it is recommended to use the H.264 video codec instead. 

If the H.264 codec isn’t an option for you, Dacast also supports the x264 codec

It is possible to live stream with VP9, but it has known playback issues in certain digital environments. Use it at your own risk.

What is an Encoder?

The VP9 codec has to do with your live stream encoder.

Encoding is a process used to convert the RAW video files captured by a camera into digital files suitable for live streaming over the internet.

This process uses either a hardware or software encoder.

Required Live Encoder Settings

The following live encoder settings are required for live streaming with Dacast, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

VIDEO CODEC H.264 (x264 may work)
FRAME RATE 25 or 30
KEYFRAME INTERVAL 2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
SCANNING Progressive
ENCODING BITRATE Constant (CBR)
AUDIO CODEC AAC
AUDIO BITRATE 128 kbps
AUDIO CHANNELS 2 (Stereo)
AUDIO SAMPLE RATE 48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

If you have any questions about video encoding or need help with this Dacast feature, feel free to contact us directly.

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Category: Live Streaming

Short answer: no, you do not.

When you buy a Dacast Streaming Plan, you are buying access to a range of Dacast platform features and services for a period of time and with a certain level of usage (bandwidth) included. This includes the player, broadcast manager platform, content management, access to support, and more.

Dacast is unique from most other existing services in the way that we allow unused bandwidth to roll over from month-to-month for up to 12 months.

If you only used half of your Developer plan bandwidth, the remaining 50% would roll over into the next month. However, this bandwidth only remains available for the life of the plan.

Therefore, an account can not continue to be used, or unused bandwidth reserved for later when the service is canceled or suspended.

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Category: Live Streaming

Dacast - Live Streaming - Which Dacast Embed Code Should I Use?

Dacast provides two embed code options for live streaming: JS and iframe. Both of these work for playback on your website or app via desktop and mobile devices as long as the content itself supports it. The JS embed code is the default embed code for Dacast, and it supports the most features. This includes being responsive if the elements are designed inside is a different size and working with the referrer restriction feature. 

To embed it in a WordPress website for instance, just copy and paste it in your article. This must be done in the “text” mode.

The iframe embed code is the most universally compatible embed code. The caveat is that some features do not work with it. 

This embed code is not responsive, which means it’s a fixed size. The full-screen feature is also sometimes removed. This usually happens only if you are using iframes within iframes. 

Additionally, the URL based referrer restriction feature does not work with the iframe embed.

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Category: Live Streaming

It is quite common for encoders to get out of sync when streaming both video and audio feeds if the CPU of the machine running the encoder is being taxed.

If you are encountering this issue, please take a look at the system resources monitor while streaming. It might be that you need to change some settings, or perhaps your computer needs an update.

Usually, the CPU going over 60% (especially over 80%) can definitely result in issues. Dropped frames can also result in issues as well. These are typically ISP, packet loss, or server-based issues.  

There are several ways to determine probable causes. Monitoring your encoder tells you everything from the actual input to the actual processing of the stream.

This also applies to the resulting file archive these encoders might be saving to your computer. For more tips on how to diagnose broadcasting issues, check out our guide on how to troubleshoot your live streams.

Required Encoder Settings 

Check your encoder settings to make sure they are set in accordance with Dacast’s required configurations.

The following encoder settings are required, regardless of your selected resolution and bitrate:

VIDEO CODEC H.264 (x264 may work)
FRAME RATE 25 or 30
KEYFRAME INTERVAL 2 secs (or 2x frame rate)
SCANNING Progressive
ENCODING BITRATE Constant (CBR)
AUDIO CODEC AAC
AUDIO BITRATE 128 kbps
AUDIO CHANNELS 2 (Stereo)
AUDIO SAMPLE RATE 48 kHz (48,000 Hz)

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Category: Live Streaming

At this time, you receive notifications in the Back Office when your live recording has ended and your recorded file is being integrated.

There are currently no event handlers or callbacks to directly notify you elsewhere when the recorded file has been created and is ready to be played.

Category: Live Streaming

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